If your dog weighs less than 10 kilos, here is the special care and attention he needs - THECHOWANIECS.COM

If your dog weighs less than 10 kilos, here is the special care and attention he needs

A Yorkshire dog and a husky. A pug and a German shepherd. A Chihuahua and a Greyhound. So different in coat, size, physiognomy, needs and characteristics… and so similar at the same time, because they all belong to the same species.

According to experts, today there are about 800 breeds of “Canis familiaris”, this faithful friend of man since it was domesticated 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. The dog has thus become the most varied species of the animal kingdom.

But let’s start at the beginning: What is a small dog and what is a large dog?

According to experts, small dog is called (or “mini”) a dog that weighs less than 10 kilos (do not confuse a small dog with a puppy). This terminology also includes dogs that weigh less than 5 kilos when fully grown (Chihuahuas, for example). Medium dogs weigh up to 25 kilos, large ones from 25 to 40 kilos) and giants – more than 40 kilos.

Depending on your lifestyle, sharing your life with a small dog may be easier than with a large one: in most means of transport, they can travel alongside you and are more likely to be accepted in stores or , if you are a frequent traveler, in accommodation. Indeed, most hotels still have weight restrictions. However, owners of a small dog should be aware of specific care and characteristics.

  • A faster metabolism

Small breed dogs burn energy much faster; this is due to an accelerated metabolism. An accelerated metabolism could imply that small dogs age faster, but this is not the case; large canines grow slowly (in fact, they can take 1.5 to 2 years to become adults; even their sexual maturity is later) and age rapidly; small dogs grow rapidly (they can reach adult size in 8 to 10 months; they also reach sexual maturity very early) and age slowly. That’s why, according to science, small dogs live longer.

This rapid metabolism requires, on the one hand, an adequate diet specially formulated for this characteristic, with a greater number of feedings spread over the day when they are puppies, since in this way they will be protected against hypoglycemia. and avoid constant cravings.

And, on the other hand, regular activity, because a small dog is more excitable and active: make him do daily exercises according to his age, because the heart of a 2-year-old dog is not the same than that of a 12-year-old dog! Remember that walking and playing are essential for their mental and physical health. Experts recommend a daily activity of 30 to 60 minutes spread over several walks.

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It is common that the little ones, because they weigh less, do not completely wear out their nails during their walks; you have to pay attention to the size of the nails to give them that much needed grooming. Nails that are too long can interfere with the dog’s walk and make him feel uncomfortable.

  • Tendency to gain weight

Small dogs are more prone to obesity, which can be critical to their health and can decrease their quality and life expectancy. Overweight in small dogs is often due to lack of activity, poor distribution of their food, provision of unsuitable food or poorly administered “extras” (remember that if we provide “treats” during training, we then need to calibrate the doses of food).

  • A smaller jaw and teeth with a tendency to develop tartar.

Small breed dogs like the Yorkshire Terrier, Pug, Chihuahua, Dachshund, Poodle or Miniature Schnauzer are more prone to certain diseases. Among oral diseases, the most common is periodontitis, and according to some studies, small dogs are up to 5 times more likely to suffer from periodontal disease than large breeds!

It is the buildup of tartar, which if left untreated can lead to problems such as gum inflammation, bone loss and even tooth loss, and is an open door to d other potential health issues.

It is precisely because small dogs live longer that they are also more prone to heart disease, especially when they reach the age of 10 years and become seniors. Another characteristic of small dogs is that they are more sensitive to very hot or very cold temperatures, as is the case with certain breeds of large dogs which lack fat.

That is why, in winter as in summer, we must take extra care and ensure that they have enough heat and are sufficiently hydrated, especially in the case of toy breeds. Our attention and the provision of an adequate diet with well-distributed quantities are essential for this type of dog to keep its body temperature under control.

  • Adapt the house to its size

Like a baby, everything in the house is perceived as big, fat or far away for a small dog. Adapting the house to them is a good idea: if they climb on the sofa or on our bed to rest, a ramp will make their life much easier; if we have several floors, distribute their resources on a single floor to prevent them from going up and down the stairs (especially in breeds that can suffer from spinal problems like dachshunds) ; creating safe areas for them if there are a lot of people living with them, children or other larger dogs would be optimal: so the dog can take refuge and rest. Common sense and empathy to make life easier for our friend.

  • Education, always positive

The size of a dog under ten kilos means that many parents tend to overprotect the dog (obsessively pamper it, humanize it, hug it, allow it certain behaviors that we would not tolerate with a larger dog, etc.) However, as “toy” as it is, a dog has needs: jlisten, sniff, walk, run, socialize.

Some studies suggest that small dogs tend to exhibit behaviors that dog owners perceive as problematic, such as greater excitability, greater propensity to bark at strangers and other dogs, or when alone they are less obedient and tend to be more protective of their territory.

According to some experts, this is because a large dog’s brain has more developed areas responsible for desirable behaviors. Also, brain size matters. Indeed, some studies suggest that height also appears to be related to other cognitive abilities, namely short-term memory and self-control.

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